Many of us may not realize that our bodies respond very seasonally to different factors throughout the year.

Ancient Chinese texts talk about living according to the seasons based on Taoism. In my own opinion I do believe we have a loving creator that provided all our needs here on earth. Chinese medicine and philosophies come from Taoism.

In studying Chinese medicine and Taoism it was all based on observation of the world around us. The structures, patterns and order to the world we were given. Any deviation from this order and structure can cause resistance in our lives and our bodies. It can also hurt the world we live in. Taoism in its authenticity is not a religion or even a philosophy. The word Tao means “The Way.”

In a nutshell, respectable old Sages would teach Taoism to their family, friends and students. Taoism is simply a deep understand of creation and the world around us. It is our relationship to nature and nature’s relationship to us. Our relationship to the animal kingdom and their relationship to us is explained in Taoism. The universe’s relationship to the earth and earth’s relationship to the universe.

For instance, in Taoist they believed that all babies came from “Heavenly Qi (Chee).” I would most definitely have to agree with that.

Our bodies go through a cyclical flow of Qi (chee). This flow also happens everyday, but in particular certain times of the year an organ will be a priority. During the springtime that organ is the liver. As the temperature warms up our livers begin to flush out the old and renew itself. It is important to start getting outside and walking more. Drink lots of water to flush toxins out. Eat a diet rich in fiber. A good plant-based fiber is best. I also like adding fiber to a diet and prefer psyllium husk fiber.

Before considering to start any cleanse there needs to be a few things that have to be in place with one’s health. First you must be having regular bowel movements. If you find that you are not eliminating each day do not start any cleanse. Normal bowel movements should be three times daily after each meal. Although most Americans go around one to two times a day. If you have problems eliminating regularly you need to fix that situation before considering a cleanse.

Start off by seeking a health care professional to help you with suggestions. I love the herb Ma Zi Ren. It is a light gentle fix to constipation by moistening the intestines.

The second thing to look at before starting a cleanse is to make sure you are getting adequate rest. Our bodies naturally cleanse each day and a lot of those functions happen during the night.

In Chinese medicine we have a body clock. The liver does its thing between the hours of 1 and 3 a.m. If you are getting up in the middle of the night during this time then you may have a liver energy dysfunction. You don’t need to be sleeping perfectly but you want to at least feel semi-rested before starting a cleanse.

The last thing to consider before starting a cleanse is do you have adequate energy throughout the day? If you are low in energy do not start a cleanse. Cleansing in itself can take a toll on one’s body so you don’t want to start off in a deficient state. You will only drag your energy down more and may get yourself sick. Make sure you are eliminating, sleeping well and have good energy before starting a cleanse.

Once you start a cleanse be sure to keep your stress levels to a minimum. You also don’t want to do any strenuous exercise. Just walking is sufficient. Reduce your schedule to allow time to cleanse. Release obligations for the few weeks that you are doing a cleanse and allow your body to have adequate rest. You will only benefit more with the outcome that you desire.

There are simple ways to start a cleanse that are very easy to do on your normal schedule. First, start off every morning with a warm glass of water and a whole lemon squeezed into it. Do this for the first week with taking fiber and Probiotics at night. Then add non-sweetened cranberry juice to your water with lemon each morning. The sour taste will help not only cleanse the liver, but will also help the blood and the urinary tract and kidneys.

If you want to start a serious cleanse the best thing to do is to contact an alternative health care provider who knows about cleanses.

A lot of people can’t take the dosage instructed. They must take a smaller amount based on how toxic they are. It is also important to monitor patients while doing the cleanse. Sometimes there are adjustments that need to be made throughout the process. A diet is usually recommended on serious cleanses. It all differs depending on what type of cleanse a person needs.

The benefits of doing a cleanse are having more energy, less toxic load, better sleep at night and possible weight loss. There are times where those who have serious illnesses go into remission.

We live in a very toxic world. I believe it is important to take time to cleanse at least one time a year. It can be as little as a weekend to three weeks. You may find great benefits that could change your health and well being.

• Dawn Krueger-Sherin is an oriental medical practitioner in Ahwatukee Foothills. For questions, reach her at

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